a First Person Shooter of Sorts

September 11, 2009

Lake Effect Fog at Sunset

These were taken with a Canon 5d Mk II and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS. I think. It is approaching evening near Wilbur Dam in Elizabethton, TN:

1. Looking across the lake, the fog is about 4′ – 10′ deep on the water.

2. Orange sunlight filters through the trees, revealed by the fog.

3. A fisherman is silhouetted against the orange-lit fog. I would have given this guy a buck to close his mouth.

4. Another fisherman prepares to cast.

5. Fog was washing over the dam in huge waves, driven by the breezes that were blowing down the lake.

6. A lone fly fisherman stands below the dam in a foggy valley

7. A sepia version of the scene

8. The TVA fencing took on a ghostly appearance in the limited visibility

9. Some geese swim away from me, seeking the safety of the lake.

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12. An older gent gets a bite on his line and works to reel it in

13. Silhouette at sunset

14. Just more scenery

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August 17, 2009

the timber rattler I saw yesterday

1. I submit for your consideration one timber rattler, approximate age 14 years old, who was cooperative enough to let me take these photos of it.

2. A good set of rattles… it acquires a new one each time it sheds. They shed every 1-2 years… 1.4 years on average (thus my age estimate).

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4. I’m glad it was mellow.

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6. The reason I was up there… to see the Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower

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9. There was a combination of two reasons that stopped me from going to the top. First, the stairs were missing. You can see where the stairs should be there is still a handrail, and brackets for the steps. I was game to climb this, and began doing so. That’s when the second factor kicked in… a nest full of very energetic hornets was being shaken with each step I took, and they began to swarm. I didn’t want to get up there and get attacked while unable to make a quick (and safe) descent, so I decided discretion was the better part of valor.

10. The building at the base of the tower.

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14. In addition to venomous snakes, there was an abundant variety of mushrooms in the area.

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August 13, 2009

Some shots from a hike on Buffalo Mountain, Johnson City, TN

Filed under: Canon 17-40mm f/4.0L, Canon 5d Mark II, landscape photography, nature photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 10:32 am

1. Leaves along the trail on Buffalo Mountain

2. Sunshine breaks through the canopy

3. Trail to the overlook on Buffalo Mountain

4. Remains from the fire last year.

5. Tangled remains

July 30, 2009

Downtown

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, Lensbaby, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:07 am

1. A steeple stands in for broken wrought iron.

2. children and adults.

3. A well dressed pole.

4. Tagged.

May 29, 2009

Looooong exposures are your friend

Filed under: Canon 17-40mm f/4.0L, Canon 5d Mark II, nature photography, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 12:59 pm

So I went to the quarry cave again, this time with nonspecific. I hooked up the remote switch and set the camera to the bulb setting, so I could hold the shutter open as long as I wanted. Then came the fun part… using my extra-bright flashlights to “paint” the cave with light, only lighting the areas I wanted. It was nearly dark by the time we left, and definitely dark by the time we made it back to the car. As nightfall approached, a heavy mist settled into the cave, making for a surreal experience. When the lights were off, it was pure black, and when on, it seemed pure white, and you could barely see any better. Also strange, was that just 10 or 15 feet apart, and I couldn’t understand Kara at all, due to all the echoes. In short, I had a blast. :)

Then suddenly, photos:

Near the entrance:

Exposure Time: 30.000 s
Aperture: f/5.0
ISO equiv: 400
Lighting: natural lighting from left, lesser so from right, fill-in by flashlight

Side chamber:

Exposure Time: 77.000 s
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO equiv: 800
Lighting: generous and erratic use of 2 high-power flashlights :)

Side chamber:

Exposure Time: 156.000 s
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO equiv: 800
Lighting: No flashlights close the camera or within line-of-site of the lens. Two flashlights were held fairly still for about 45 seconds, and then waved around for fill lighting for the remainder. This seemed to work well, and cut down on the mist haze, getting a crisp view of the far wall.

I also took more HRDI fodder, we’ll see how that goes.

May 24, 2009

High Dynamic Range Imagery

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, HDR, HDRI, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:46 pm

The batch from the tunnel didn’t work out due to a lack of bright data (I really did need the tripod after all) but I think I’ve got the hang of it now with properly exposed photos and the newer software. The photos show some differences due to variations in the settings… I’m still deciding what I want these things to look like.

HDRI = High Dynamic Range Imagery. Take multiple photos of a wide contrast scene, varying the exposure up and down to capture the full range of data available. Using special software, you combine the images, and use tone-mapping to convert the scene-wide contrast into “micro-contrast”. This compresses the tonal range a bit, and enables details that would have been lost to come through.

Here’s some images I made a couple years back to explain it…
http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/miscimg/hdr1.jpg (3 exposures)
http://www.vaughnsphotoart.com/miscimg/hdr2.jpg (result)

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May 23, 2009

Abandoned Mine Tunnel

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:22 am

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I had hoped to have some high dynamic range images for you, but that hasn’t been going so well. For one thing, my tripod was in the car, which was with Melanie in Big Stone Gap. Beyond that though, I just having trouble getting the HDRI’s to come out. I’m not sure if it’s that the source images were too dark, or I just don’t have the knack of the settings. But I’m having trouble making anything that is an improvement over a regular image.

The rest of these images are the surrounding area.

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9. [info]ezerick in the background… A rather large piece of concrete in the foreground

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May 1, 2009

Canon 5d Mark II infrared test

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, infrared photography — Tags: — vaughnsphotoart @ 12:01 pm

It seems the 5d Mark II is slightly less infrared sensitive than the Mark I, but with suitably long exposures I was still able to get some IR magic. Usually I convert IR to monochrome, but for some reason I was really digging on the hues the filter was producing, so I desaturated them a bit and went with it.

Results are below… note that these pics seem to have a hotspot near the center. I believe this was due to a smudge on the back of the lens. I didn’t notice the hotspot until I downloaded, and went searching for the cause. Nice greasy smudge, near dead center on the rear glass. Can anyone confirm this can cause a hotspot in long exposures?

No idea how I managed that one… I am so careful. Alas. Anyway, I’ll retest, sans-smudge, soon. The trees look excessively fuzzy because it was windy, and these were 6-15 second exposures.

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April 14, 2009

Corvine

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These were taken at Grandfather Mtn, NC, with a Canon 5d mkII and a Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3.

April 10, 2009

Downtown

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, photography, Sigma APO 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM — vaughnsphotoart @ 9:31 am

Wandering downtown on a recently drizzly and cold day, I saw:

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March 19, 2009

Grandfather Mountain & Luna

From two weekends ago, at Grandfather Mountain. Yes. I have been that slow.

Took this in the front yard… actually put it on the tripod, used mirror lockup, etc.

These were shot with a Canon 5d Mark II, and a Sigma APO 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM, except the ladder shot. That one was the Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L.

March 3, 2009

First Batch from the Canon 5d Mark II

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, people photography, photography — Tags: — vaughnsphotoart @ 10:05 pm

So I recently acquired one of these:

It’s taking some getting used to. Minor differences in controls, minor differences in judgement. Just enough to throw me off. This is the first batch of photos from the camera I am happy enough with to share.

We’ll start with the lovely Melanie:

Hannah and Lorelei, wanting Arbys

Painting on the side of the cool shop downtown…

Different shot, same subject, blasting the black, texture, and saturation…

Dude… wtf

This one makes my happy tingle.

This lil bird is puffed up against the cold. I think i focused on the branch in front. :(

Another one for my happy center.

These kids were shooting a movie of some sort… camera girl is out of the frame.

Apocalyptic, isn’t it.

Another cold bird.

… and there goes the last of the light.

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